Four reasons to love walking your dog and taking your own steps too – Pasadena Star News

If you’re looking for the ultimate dog-walking experience, join Pasadena Humane this Sunday, September 18 for the 24th Annual Wiggle Waggle Walk and Run at Brookside at the Rose Bowl. In-person registration opens at 8 a.m. Sunday at the site. All walkers and runners will receive a T-shirt, a bandana for their dog, a bib and a medal. Learn more at wigglewagglewalk.org. (Pasadena Humane)

With our 24th Annual Wiggle Waggle Walk and Run taking place on Sunday, now is a great time to reflect on the many benefits of walking a dog.

For me, the biggest plus is that it’s a wonderful social opportunity for my dog, Sueshi, and me.

Every day we might see Velvet, Pablo, Cinco, Bella, or Rocky — all Pasadena Humane alumni who live in our neighborhood. There’s also Daisy, Stella, Sophie, Gussie, Acorn, Pippa, Blue and Marshmellow, just to name a few of the other dogs that didn’t come from the shelter.

While Sueshi and company sniff around and do their best to intertwine their leashes, I can talk to the wonderful neighbors tied up on the other end. This is how we have met most of our friends since arriving in Pasadena.

In addition to socializing, here are some other great reasons to walk dogs:

To keep fit: An estimated 50% of US household dogs are overweight, while 20-30% are considered obese. Taking your daily steps provides physical activity that helps you stay fit, improve cardiovascular health, and increase joint mobility.

Mental exercise: Walking is a great activity for the mind, as well as the body. When dogs discover the world outside their own backyard, they are exposed to new sights and smells that keep their minds busy and reduce stress. Mental stimulation also helps ward off boredom in your pup, which can prevent unwanted behaviors like chewing or barking.

Keep it regular: Dogs love a good routine – and daily walks on a regular schedule help create a stable environment that will build your dog’s confidence. As a bonus, walks help regulate the digestive tract. Many dogs prefer to go potty on a schedule which can help prevent constipation and bladder infections.

Remember that when out for a walk, your puppy should always be on a leash and wear current identification and license tags. I also strongly recommend that you have your pet microchipped.

If you’re looking for the ultimate dog-walking experience, join us this Sunday, September 18 for our 24th Annual Wiggle Waggle Walk and Run at Brookside at the Rose Bowl. You can walk or do a fun 5k run around the Rose Bowl Loop, or you can take a shorter one-mile route.

In addition to walking and running, there will be family activities with a variety of vendors handing out and selling items, dog demonstrations, a dog costume contest, an agility class, food trucks, and even more, all for the benefit of animals.

Of course, our Wiggle Waggle Wagon will be at the event with adoptable dogs. So if you don’t have a dog to walk, now might be the perfect time to adopt one.

For those not ready for a long-term commitment to a new four-legged friend, we’ll have information on other ways to get involved. Would you like to become a volunteer foster home or join our staff? Our Human Resources team would love to chat with you. We’ll even have a hands-on volunteer opportunity at the event where you can make toys for the shelter dogs.

You can also learn more about our dog training classes, wildlife rehabilitation programs and humane education opportunities for children.

The Wiggle Waggle Walk & Run is fun for everyone. In-person registration opens at 8 a.m. Sunday at Brookside at the Rose Bowl (1133 Rosemont Ave., Pasadena). All walkers and runners will receive a T-shirt, a bandana for their dog, a bib and a medal. Learn more about wigglewagglewalk.org

Dia DuVernet is President and CEO of Pasadena Humane. pasadenahumane.org

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